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2020 September road trip around Ireland

2020 September road trip around Ireland

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Posted Sun 14 Jul 2019 10:53 AM
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Hello,
My husband and I along with 2 other friends from Australia And UK are travelling to Ireland in early September 2020.
We wanted to start our planning early so we can be organised for our journey.
Firstly we will be coming to Ireland via London where we will spend a week with a friend.
The first question is Where do we fly into to hire a car? Dublin or elsewhere?
Depending on the best advise we will begin. (Please advise)

If for instance if we were going to fly into Dublin we would then pick up the car and head out of the city in the direction of Belfast. We will make a stop along the way at Newgrange using we think the M1. Please advise.
We will spend 2 nights in Belfast possibly staying at Vagabonds Hostel in university Rd.
We plan to do an afternoon Black Taxi tour initially. We plan on visiting Titanic Tour, Giant Causeway, Carricka-Rede Rope Bridge, Ballintoy Village. Any other suggestions will be most helpful.

Leaving Belfast we plan to head to Sligo (recommended accomodation please) for the night via Enniskillen for lunch. We would have preferred to drive to Clifden but concerned that it would be to long a day by the time we arrived in Clifden? Please advise if you have a better suggestion.

Leaving Sligo we plan to drive via Ballina for Fairy walk and Fairy Bridge, Kylemore Abbey, Cong or Westport for lunch onto Clew bay to hopefully walk Croagh Patrick. Arriving into Clifden via Sky Road well before dark. Any other suggestions or routes would be helpful.

Clifden, Accomodation Buttermilk Lodge where we hope to spend 2 or 3 nights so please advise!!!
Things we plan to do from Clifden, Achill Island, walk Inishturk, climb up Napoleonic Tower, visit Sleive League and Lough Gill. Visit Keel Beach, Kinvara Seaside Village. Please advise. You will have noticed I’ve left out Galway as we thought we could do a day trip from Clifden possibly but please advise your recommendation on what we should do. Trying to stay outside major cities.

Clifden onto Lahnich via Doolin. 1 night in Lahnich. This is our base for Cliffs of Mohr, please advise if you have a better
alternative. Not sure from here if we should get the Ferry from Killimer to Tarnert????? We are possibly planning 1 nights stay at Ballyseed Castle.

Next day visit Dingle Penninsula, lunch Dingle Pub, visit Muckross House. Then Dingle to Cashel via ring Of Dingle. Please advise. Planning to stay 2-3 nights in either Killarney (Old Weir Lodge or Black Sheep Hostel) or Kenmare staying at either (Virginia’s Guest House or Shelburne Lodge BnB) plan on doing ROKerry ?? Or ROBerra please advise
Plan on doing Ross Castle, Torc Waterfall, The Gap of Dunloe, please advise or give other options.
Can you advise if we would need the 3 nights in either place above to do all this. I’m struggling as I’m trying to fit in so much but needing to cut a day or so somewhere?

Next onto Cork and Cobh, we are thinking of spending 1 night in Roberts Cove. We wanted to visit Kinsale, The English Food Market, Do the Titanic Experience. Maybe Blarney Castle (unsure as very Touristy) please advise.

Next onto Kilkenny via Tipperary for lunch. So possibly 2 nights Kilkenny, please advise? Planning to do Rock of Cashel, Waterford, Wicklow, Wexford. Please advise .reccommendations on hostel or 3 star hotel for the 4 of us.

Finally finishing our trip in Dublin for2 nights to do the touristy things.
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Posted Mon 15 Jul 2019 11:56 AM
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Hello Fiona,

It sounds like you have a good idea of the things you all wish to see and do for your planned trip over next year!

As you are thinking to visit Belfast first, with a stop in the Brú na Bóinne including Newgrange, collecting a hire car at Dublin Airport would be a good place to start, using the M1 as you said up towards Newgrange. We have an article on vehicle rental that may be of interest to you but you can also check with your chosen airline for their rental partners too. Please remember to mention travelling to Northern Ireland as this is a requirement of insurance purposes.

Two nights in Belfast sounds super, the Black Taxi tours are well worth the time and we would also recommend that a trip to the Gobbins and also Dunluce Castle would be great if you have the chance too.

Belfast to Enniskillen will take about an hour and a half drive time giving you lots of time to explore this lovely town. While Sligo is a great place to spend the night, you may wish to add a few of your other places of interest into the day, including Slieve League, and finish at Westport for the night, this will make the following day a more relaxed affair as climbing Croagh Patrick will take a while!

We have a handy approved accommodation search page for find places to stay. I have pre-selected Westport to get you started, and you can change the type of accommodation and location from the drop-down menus.

Three nights in Clifden at the Buttermilk Lodge sounds perfect, as it is a great base for visiting Connemara, The Burren, and Galway! While Galway is a popular city there are so many things to see and do that it would be definitely worth the time.

Lahinch is a good choice for access to the Cliffs of Moher and the Killimer-Tarbert ferry does save the time and miles instead of heading to Limerick unless you wish to visit the Bunratty Castle and Gardens which is a fine place to see. Ballyseede Castle Hotel is another excellent choice of accommodation and a great base for travel into the Dingle Peninsula or Killarney National Park.

Killarney or Kenmare would be excellent for 3 nights to visit the places you mention and I would certainly include the Ring of Beara as an option as while it is less popular than the Ring of Kerry, it is equally as stunning and a lovely addition to the Southern Peninsula section of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Moving onto Cork, plenty of wonderful choices there, if you think Blarney Castle maybe too touristy for you all, then a trip down the coast towards Skibbereen or Baltimore may have some appeal to you as part of the Haven Coast.

Kilkenny will be a lovely addition to your stopovers, again plenty to see and do both in the city and the surrounding counties. Accommodation again can be found using our approved accommodation search page. As part of Ireland's Ancient East, counties Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow hold many wonders that will keep you busy before completing your journey with a couple of days in Dublin itself.

 I hope this gives you lots of inspiration, and hopefully, your fellow members and some industry partners will be able to add to this list with their own recommendations! 

Speak soon,

Martin

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Posted Tue 16 Jul 2019 6:24 AM
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Hello Martin,
Thank you so much for reading  over our itinery. We are looking to hire the car from Dublin and ill look onto the car rental info you've  provided as a search engin. I must say we have read many horror stories re booking a car in Ireland and will make sure we let the car company know we are going via Northern Ireland. We will take all required insurances.
We think after reading your suggestions re Sligo or Wesport for our first night we might stay in Wesport given that we will have time to explore Enniskillen being only 1.5 hours away from Belfast. We are planning to visit Sleive League for sure.
Will keep you posted on any changes we may make in the near future.
Thanks again

Fiona 


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Posted Tue 16 Jul 2019 9:18 AM
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Hi Fiona,

We are always happy to help with itineraries as there is plenty to see and do on the island of Ireland and journey times are tricky to work out!

Some of the best advice we give is to enjoy the drive as much as the destination, if you find something on the way, stop and take it all in, mark it down for your next visit. 😉

We look forward to hearing more about your plans as you finalise your time with us,

Speak soon,

Martin
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Posted Sun 12 Apr 2020 6:12 PM
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Hi Fiona!


About the car rental, I'll give you the same advice I give to everybody.

From the Dublin Airport, take the 2-way Airlink pass.

Take one way to the city to enjoy its charms and take the return to go back to the airport and rent the car there.


You don't need, nor want, a car in Dublin and it will be easier for you to start driving "on the other side" on a  divided motorway than in some busy city streets.
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Posted Sun 12 Apr 2020 6:21 PM
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And as Martin said, the drive is everything! The destination being the reward.


Don't be afraid to take this little trail that seems to go nowhere.

As another member here (Gary) said one day, don't be afraid to get "lost" because "Even when you're "lost" in paradise....you're still in Paradise".



Enjoy the craic!

N.B. I'm supposed to go back in Sept too.
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Posted Sun 12 Apr 2020 7:05 PM
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Thank you very much for your tips, Frédéric! I'm sure it'll be very helpful for our other members in planning their trip. :)

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Posted Mon 13 Apr 2020 1:58 PM
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Hi Fiona,

It sounds like you’re planning a wonderful trip and I see you’ve already been given plenty of useful information for your proposed trip.

Hiring a car is the best option of making the most of all the island has to offer! The drive from Dublin to Belfast takes about 2.5 hours. From Belfast, heading north, you can pick up signs for the Causeway Coastal Route (A2) which follows the stunning coastline of the North Antrim Coast, studded with gems such as historic castles, quaint harbours, glens and long sandy beaches.

You mention visiting the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Ballintoy which are all great attractions! Just to make you aware, the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede operate on a ticketed basis and can get busy during peak times. Tickets can be pre-purchased from any of our Visitor Information Centres in the Causeway Coast and Glens.

As Martin has suggested, Dunluce Castle is another option alongside others such as the Bushmills Distillery and Mussenden Temple.

The Causeway Coastal Route extends to the city of Derry in the west, known for its 17th-century walls. From the city you could then travel towards Enniskillen before heading on to Sligo. There are lots of options and should you have any further questions about the area, please get in touch and Coleraine Visitor Information Centre will be happy to help.

I wish you an enjoyable trip!

Alison
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Posted Tue 14 Apr 2020 9:07 AM
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Hi Fiona,
sounds like a fantastic trip you are planning there! I am sure you already are quite excited about it. 
You could as planned fly from London to Dublin, there are plenty of flights to choose from. Or you could fly from London to Belfast, there also are a number of flights serving this route. George Best City Airport is only a 10 minute drive away from Belfast city center.
If you want you can spend 2 nights in Belfast without having a car and discover Belfast by foot, public transport or avail of the City Sightseeing buses. Why not drop into our Welcome Center at 9 Donegall Square North just opposite City Hall, we would love to welcome you personally to our amazing city. You could book a Black Taxi Tour with us and/or political walking tours. Belfast has a lot  to offer, we can talk you through all the wonderful things you can see and do here. And, of course, Belfast is famed for its prolific cultural scene with plenty of gigs, festivals, art galleries and night life. Please visit our website for more information : VisitBelfast .
At George Best City Airport you can also pick up a rental car. Again, you would need to tell them that you will be going to the Republic of Ireland which isn't a problem.
To help you plan your trip we added some more links: Causeway Coast and Glens , Fermanagh Lakelands and if you are driving from Dublin to Belfast there are also wonderful places to visit south of Belfast : Newry and Mournes , Lisburn and Hillsborough .
We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to Belfast in September. Take care.
Your team from Visit Belfast

 

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